I've filled my iPhone with apps: time to prune. Let's evaluate, starting with the apps I use most often:
Twitterrific ★★★★★ is an application for the Twitter messaging system. Twitter is useful for letting people know what you are doing or thinking more immediately than a weblog. As an example you can see my last three "tweets" on the sidebar of this weblog. I follow friends, newsfeeds and interesting people such as Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Jonathan Ross and Robert Llewellyn. Other such apps are available but this does all I need. Twitterrific caches messages so it's useful to sync before going out of signal range, for your reading pleasure in the wilderness.
Twitterfon★★★★ attractive Twitter client with small clear font. Twitterfon does everything from trends to nearby tweets in a logical way. I was using Twitterfon as my primary Twitter app now although now it has started showing adverts so I'm switching to Twitterrific. The adverts keep displaying even after clicking on the link which is annoying.
Nambu ★★★★★ is yet another Twitter client for the iPhone. This has a beautifully laid-out screen on which the last five tweets can be seen - more than most other Twitter apps. Favourite tweets can also be displayed and this screen includes direct messages. The search pane has advanced options, a history and trends. Optional panes are built-in for tr.im, pic.im, FriendFeed, Ping.fm, Laconica and identica. Tweets can be favourited or flagged privately. The only option I'd like to be added is to switch between real names and nicknames.
AirMe ★★★★★ takes pictures on the iPhone camera and uploads them to a Flickr stream. Your photo can be available globally in less than a minute! The iPhone's camera has been criticized for having only two megapixels but I seem to have got some good pictures from it. The only caveat is that you have to set the title and tags -- words used to search for images in Flickr -- before taking a photo because AirMe will start to upload immediately.
MyRail lite ★★★★★ shows British Rail station departure and arrival boards, also station times for each train with a neat graphic. It can also search for the nearest stations based on map location. Absolutely superb. This is great when I'm travelling/commuting. Update National Rail have not renewed the licence for MyRail and it has stopped working. NR have brought out their own app which costs £4.99. This has upset a lot of people who have nonetheless bought the NR app because it is so useful for commuters, but then given it one star reviews on the Apple Store. Shameful situation.
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary ★★★★★ is the world-famous English dictionary from the Oxford University Press, not as big as the Shorter two volume edition but still an awful lot of lexicographical goodness, and definitely not American English or some house style guide that would spell "authorize" wrongly. Probably worth £14.99 as the print version of the Concise edition costs £10.00 more. This 11th edition contains over 240,000 words, phrases and definitions. Many of the entries have a recording of the word being spoken. (NB Webster's International Dictionary is also on iTunes, for £34.99. There is also the free WordWeb.)
Things ★★★★ is for "Getting Things Done", a most simple-to-use (yet sophisticated behind the scenes) to-do list, or organizer, or notes application. It syncs over wi-fi with the same application on a local Mac. I've just bought this to replace the hundreds of bits of paper I have lying around the place.
Blue Defense! ★★★★★ is a superb shoot-em-up with waves of smoothly animated glowing things and bosses that split and flow towards the home planet. They must be destroyed using the constant firepower at the player's command. The game is silent: no sounds to interrupt my music. Perfect. It may be worth buying an iPhone just to play this.
GeoDefense Lite ★★★★★ is a superb tower defence game. This means setting-up towers that blast away at creeps along a path with the intention of stopping them reaching and and overrunning the target. There are many types of sci-fi-themed tower in this game, it's fast and the graphics are great. I've now got the full version.
Bloomberg. ★★★★ Maybe overlooked because it is for business, but this is a very well-designed application that can be configured to get the latest news reports about various regions albeit with an economic bias. 'Muse' news is often not about finance at all. And of course, Bloomberg does stocks, markets and commodities with beautiful graphs: it's a very sexy way to watch the world go to hell in a hedge-manager's handcart loaded with redundant bankers' bonuses.
London Bus, Tube and Rail Journey Planner ★★★★★ includes a superb journey planner (linked to TfL) and details of routes, stations (incl. zones), 20,000 bus stops (with postcodes) and timetables, including first and last times. The app is focussed on busses but the planner includes all modes of transport including the river bus and walking! A nice touch is the Track me feature so you can see which stop you are at throughout a bus journey.
GeoDefense Swarm ★★★★★ Once you have conquered GeoDefense - or in my case, almost finished it - then Swarm is the next step. Swarm puts the same towers and creeps into an open arena without defined paths. The graphics and gameplay are superb.
Space.DeadBeef ★★★★★ is a great shoot-em-up with exemplary graphics, another proof that the iPod has really arrived as a gaming platform. A fast 2D aerial battle with only one life, but the game can be resumed from the last level. The first big boss, a metal snake, is really well done.
Alien Swarm ★★★★★ is a dream come true for me. A perfect clone of the arcade game Galaxian. It takes my mind back to a pub video game in Highgate. The money I wasted then... and the time I'm wasting now! One more go, hold on.
NetNewsWire ★★★★★ is an RSS reader application that I bought years ago for my Mac. Now it's free and also works on the iPhone, very nicely. On a good day this will summarize many websites and let you home in on the latest news that interests you without having to spend hours on the web. It's also great for grabbing lots of news and blogs when online and reading them offline later, on a train for example. Items can be clipped for later follow-up, and all the feeds synced through Newsgator or .Mac with your home computer. It's essential to get into the settings and choose a unique name for your iPhone/iPod feed, and I would also recommend having rather less feeds on the phone than a Mac: my iPhone choked on 9,000 items, but is quite happy with 5,000. Web pages and YouTube videos are displayed from within the app. I love NetNewsWire.
Bix ★★★★★ is an excellent version of Qix, a classically simple arcade game in which the player has to draw lines to bound off over 75% of an area while avoiding bouncing balls - some of which give special powers when trapped. This works well on the iPod, with a simple flick to change direction. In this version there is no option to draw lines slowly for extra points nor are there fuses to chase the player: I expect these will come in a future version.
tvGuide ★★★★ is a cheap TV guide with an excellent layout, presenting a lot of information in a small space. Only flaw is that the schedules are split at 12:00 (AM and PM) with no overlap, like an atlas where the road you want is on the edge of the page. So frustrating! Maybe the programmers are early-to-bed types who go out for lunch.
TVGuide.co.uk TV Guide ★★★★★ shows a "now and next" listing for UK channels. Touching the channel links to a BBC iPlayer page in Safari. What's great about this app is how easy it is to set-up the channels that you watch and exclude the ones you don't, from a comprehensive list.
Centipede ★★★★★ is a great conversion of the arcade game and, as with Missile Command, Atari have added a version or two with modern graphics. After playing for a while, I can see spiders and fleas when i close my eyes.
OnBox.TV UK Lite ★★★ is a free configurable TV guide for the current day - pretty good but after midnight it will show tomorrow's programmes. Update - not working and removed from iTunes. Lucky I got the free version. They may be back: OnBox.TV information.
Calc ★★★★ is an improvement on the built-in calculator: it has three sheets of functions and a tally-roll (paper tape). The ANS key inserts the result of the last calculation, literally a nice touch. But only eight significant digits? One of the smallest apps available: 96 KB.
Labyrinth LE ★★★★★ simulates a metal ball in a wooden maze. Perfect - so sensitive! Built in spirit levels.
PCalc Lite ★★★★★ is the best calculator: accurate, with 15 significant digits. Features RPN, degrees/radians, constants, unit conversions and "42" on the icon. Grab it while it's free. The full version has more features such as hex and a paper tape.
Bloom ★★★★ is a superb generative music application from that nice Mr. Brian Eno, whose career I have been following since 1973. The app will make its own random music, or I can tap the screen to enter my own sequences, which then change gradually over time. Mesmerizing.
Sentry Alpha ★★★★ is a good space shooter with tilt control. I can't get enough of games like this. This one scrolls down and has level bosses.
If you've been missing Inquisitor ★★★★★ since upgrading Safari to the new beta, then this is for you. Fast search with a built-in browser, great design, with news links supplied where available from Yahoo.
Tube Status ★★★★ displays the service level of the railway lines on the London Underground (aka the Tube), DLR, Overground and Rail. Touching a tube line displays the latest bulletins. Other Tube apps exist but this is simple and free. A paid version with a map is due soon: TubeDeluxe.
Weightbot ★★★★★ is for tracking bodyweight and it understands stones, the imperial measure in Britain! Everything about this app is polished and easy to use. Weightbot calculates BMI, draws lovely graphs and keeps a remote backup of weighings. Excellent.
Dr. Awesome ★★★★ is Qix for the iPod - move by tilting which works very well, being quicker than swiping the screen. The medical theme of viruses and mutagens works well in the game but I could do without my contact's names as patients. Very playable.
Illuminations ★★★★★ is a great tilt-controlled arcade game with a fireworks theme - better than Asteroids! Quite fast and difficult with enemies often on an effective evasion course, so it is a relief to have smart bombs, like in Defender.
Antimatter ★★★★ is a great arcade game in which blue cotton buds - sorry, cosmic strings, must be hit with a stream of antimatter to change their colour to red. Progressively more difficult. Superb graphics.
iGo ★★★★ is the first Go game for the iPod to offer a computer opponent. iGo seems to play a strong game, maybe too strong for me as a beginner. A few games can be stored, but selecting them for play or deletion is very confusing due to bad interface design; however the board and game play is straightforward. (There are two other apps available that contain classic Go games for replay and analysis.)
Topple ★★★★ is a wonderful free game with differently-shaped cartoon blocks that must be turned and placed into an increasingly unstable tower - tilt might fix it enough to get a few more blocks on top to get the required height before it all collapses - great fun.
Azkend ★★★★ Lively, enjoyable match-3 game with some extra twists of its own. I like the theme of the game too: Tibetan Lovecraft.
Droidz ★★★★ The last time I played this, I used a keyboard and joystick. It's uncanny how they have copied the sound effects and the gameplay of 1985 classic Paradroid in this arcade game, in which floors of a spaceship have to be cleared of robots. Starting as a lowly 001 droid, more powerful droids can be shot at or taken over in a separate mini game where each brain tries to turn relays to their own colour, and it's here that cursor keys (or a joystick!) would be better than fiddly touch control. Still, a great recreation.
iFighter lite ★★★★ entertaining WWII 2D shooter with planes, ground targets, power-ups and plenty of flak - as yet, no full version, just this lite title.
Bugdom 2 ★★★★★ is just like the full 3D action adventure PC game on a Mac. How Pangea managed to cram it on a shiny pocket-sized futuristic device beggars belief. The touch interface works well: I was able to work out how to fly, pick up and drop objects and jump over walls without needing to read the instructions.
Remote ★★★ is a graphical way to control Apple TV -- or iTunes on a Mac -- from the sofa. Remote can access different media types and shows cover art well but I'm not sure if I need it. It doesn't control Front Row on a Mac yet, so you still need the tiny white remote for that, if you can find it.
Stanza ★★★★ is an electronic book reader with an online library of free books, which it renders in a serif font. I appear to have downloaded books by Carroll M. Capps, Carl Jacobi, Barack Obama and H. G. Wells.
Reversi ★★★★★ is a strong Othello opponent that I regularly lose to, even when I set it to the intermediate strength. There are three higher settings!
Missile Command ★★★★★ by Atari is a faithful port of the arcade classic, the touch screen being better for aiming missiles than the trackball used in the original. And there is an updated version included with new graphics. Addictive as ever.
Snail Mail ★★★★ is a great arcade game with smooth graphics, guiding "Turbo the Snail delivering Intergalactic Mail". Similar to Super Monkey Ball but much easier to play, so this is more fun for me.
Rolando ★★★★★ is as good a game as everyone says it is. Beautifully designed, well-paced stages with increasing difficulty, all responding to a little thought.
Enigmo ★★★★★ is an amazing port of the Mac puzzle game with astounding graphics. The puzzles get harder and harder, the object being to transfer water and other materials from the source to a pot around hazards using some unlikely props.
Haruzou - Photo Uploader ★★★ uploads to Flickr (and Photozou and Picasa) and is sometimes more suitable for me than AirMe because it allows entry of tags and a title after pictures have been taken and before uploading, although it does not have a list of tags or position sensing like AirMe.
Rasta Monkey ★★★★ is a great arcade game with a swinging jumping monkey collecting bananas. Love it.
MotionX Poker ★★★★ is a classic poker dice game. I love the different sounds of various types of dice.
Splat... ★★★ simple space shooter with good controls.
Retro - Cave Flyer Lite ★★★★ Great! This is Thrust/Lunar Lander/Choplifter with manoeuvring of a pod through caverns, without touching the sides, to rescue scientists. A bit too difficult.
Oblique Strategies ★★★★ is a deck of cards created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1975, now on its 5th edition, suggesting strategies useful for creative types. All the editions are included in this app.
Darkslide ★★★★ shows your Flickr photos, contacts' photos, Explore photos and the killer feature: photos near me; also sets, recents, tags and so on. Sign in to Flickr and you can read and leave comments. A premium version of Darkslide (formerly Exposure) with more features is available.
SmallBall Pinball, Grand Canyon ★★★★ I love this pinball game. Multiple tables are linked top and bottom, so the way must be found though the top of the table to the next; falling through the flippers will return the Amiga ball to the previous table. Each table seems sparse at first until the secrets are unlocked. Also this game is much slower than other pinball titles which is a plus for me.
Trailers International ★★★★★ shows film posters in vertical or coverflow modes, touching the poster shows more details and in the information screen the movie trailer can be seen. Yes, it's as simple and elegant as that, although sometimes launching a trailer from the coverflow can be touch and go, or a trailer will continue running in the background after it was quit.
BlogWriter Lite ★★★★★ lets me write blog entries on my iPhone and post them here - just like that! It would have been a nightmare to compose essays on my old mobile telephone which had three letters per key and four short lines of text onscreen, but I have always been able to upload using email; however there is nothing like a custom application to make things easier. BlogWriter is simple to set-up and elegant in use and even the Lite version will download the last 25 blog entries for viewing (in a nice serif with fava beans and graphics), editing and reuploading. An unexpected feature is a built-in RSS feed reader - the Lite version allows two feeds - to give inspiration for blogging. Terrible icon, though.
Up There ★★★★★ is great fun, guiding a wilful balloon up through bookshelves, rafters, branches and so on. It reminds me of Aztec Challenge on the Commodore 64 in that I keep having another go, following the same old course, making the same mistakes.
WSJ - The Wall Street Journal ★★★★★ gives free access to WSJ articles that are otherwise available on the web by paying a fee. The articles, in many categories such as Digital, Europe, Quirky, Health, Tech, Blogs etc., are quite long and well-written.
Wikipanion ★★★★ is a good application to surf Wikipedia. It will re-open on the page that was open last time and works in portrait or landscape.
2079 ★★★★ is a great little space-themed shoot-em-up. Simple but effective.
Google Mobile App ★★★ is a "search experience" with links into Google Apps and the novelty of voice input. Works for me, even though North American accents are supposed to work best. Texas drawl or Jersey stutter? There is an "easter egg" in this app accessible by swiping upwards on the settings pane which will reveal a "bells and whistles" menu, useful for opening links within Google Mobile itself.
Touch Physics ★★★★ is an excellent puzzle game. A ball is moved around crayon-drawn puzzles, mostly by drawing rocks which then fall on the ball and also by putting elements in place to stop other things moving the wrong way.
Bough Puzzle ★★★★ Rotate branches to link up the whole tree. Great graphics.
Alphabetic ★★★★ is an arcade game where the player has to touch the letters of the alphabet in order but they are in random order and colour, moving about in patterns. Beautiful animation. I've just finished the first level with an average time of 3.32 seconds per letter. Quite addictive.
Bed Bugs ★★★★ Excellent game with wave after wave of strange nasties that threaten to wake up a moustachioed gent in bedroom attire. They must be despatched to send Zzzs or else they will pop and wake him. The player must discover what type of gesture will wipe out each creature.
Fieldrunners ★★★★ is yet another excellent tower defence game. This one requires some strategy, like GeoDefense.
Super Monkey Ball ★★★★ is a hugely entertaining arcade game. (Make sure to calibrate the tilt in the training screen first.) Just collect bananas on the aerial runways without falling off.
Neocell Fighters ★★★★ is a great 2D space shooter. Very colourful (which may cause problems for some) and smooth scrolling.
Toki Tori ★★★★ is a well-designed platform game. Each level must be learnt so the bridges, weapons and so on are used in the right order to collect all the eggs and avoid the hazards.
2 Across Lite Edition ★★★★ is an excellent interface for crossword puzzles, which can be downloaded from four sources.
Cube Runner ★★★★★ is a fiendishly tough arcade game with simple but effective graphics. New levels can be downloaded.
Doodle Jump ★★★★ is a simple, cheap, maddeningly tricky game similar to Papi Jump, but I much prefer this richer game. The character jumps up and tilting the iPod guides him down to the next platform, and so on, boing, boing, but obstacles soon appear or the platform is missed and the player plummets. A great innovation is seeing the levels reached by the fifty other most recent players worldwide, as they are passed.
iEphemeris Lite ★★★★ is my kinda app. I occasionally launch it in wonderment. iEphemeris shows the current distance to the Moon and Sun in miles (or in metres whatever they are) plus the lunar phase, Julian date, and the time.
Tiki Towers ★★★★ addictive game making bamboo towers and bridges for monkeys to collect bananas and get to the exit of each level. Once structures are assembled the monkeys are let loose and their weight and movement can be enough to collapse a badly-formed tower.
Shakespeare ★★★★★ displays all of Shakey's plays, sonnets and poems, mostly compiled from the first folio and quarto 1. Free. Easy to read, with search. Superb.
Vector Tanks - Retro Tank Combat ★★★ is Battlezone on the iPhone - yes all the familiar graphics and strategy I learned in London pubs. The controls need to be more responsive.
Space Buster ★★★ is a very flashy version of Break-Out. Good graphics. Currently needs a lot of memory so the iPod must be switched off and back on again first. Lite version also available.
Spheroids ★★★★ is Asteroids on a spherical surface. With autofire selected, the game is completely tilt-controlled which works well.
Hero of Sparta ★★★★ is a good atmospheric beat'em up game with excellent graphics. Also good is the control method which does not involve frenzied stabbing at the screen but merely instructing the hero to defend or attack or go for the focussed kill.
AP Mobile News Network ★★★ is a US-centric news app, currently not understanding postcodes outside the USA. Still good for world news, also sections for wacky, tech, lifestyle (?) and so on.
Wild West Pinball ★★★★ gorgeous graphics and a high-frame rate make this a great pinball game. The table is also simple without too many gimmicks. In fact it's just like the real thing - just as tough!
Bubbles ★★★★ is a great free app - create and burst bubbles. Pop! Distracts infants.
Voice Record ★★★★ uses the internal microphone of the iPhone to record files of any length (until memory is exhausted) which can then be sent via ftp. Works well.
Textropolis ★★★★ is a great game with a simple premise: make words using letters (like the popular newspaper puzzle) from the names of cities: the first is Kingstown. The style and animation is very good. However, the game does not know common English words like gits, skint, snog or nowt and there is no way to force it to accept these.
Magnetic Joe ★★★ is an addictive but difficult game, moving Joe through areas by selecting magnets.
Galaxy on Fire 3D ★★★★ is another timewaster that's hard to put down: a good space-shooter, similar to the old classic Elite with battles but without the docking.
Dictionary.com ★★★★ is based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Plenty of meanings for each word, and British spellings noted. Not surfable. This app also includes Thesaurus.com which is Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition.
Kami Crazy Lite ★★★★ is Lemmings meets Enigmo. Fun game guiding soldiers through a hostile jungle. I will probably get the full version.
Galaga REMIX Lite ★★★★ excellent conversion and update of the old arcade game. I remembered how to update the ship: get it sucked up into the enemy funnel, then shoot out the ships from under it to get it back. Tiny graphics but they move well. A choice of tilt, joypad or slider control.
Love Art: National Gallery, London ★★★★★ is a superb guide with video and audio and hi-res photos that can be zoomed in to read signatures on some paintings. Big at 208 megabytes but packs a lot in.
Drop7 ★★★★ unusual match-3 crossed with Sudoku and Tetris game - nice.
Zombie Attack! ★★★★ Tower defence game with zombies - defend your shack! Really colourful with a wide range of weapons. After a few hours playing this you will feel like a zombie too - these tower defence games are so addictive.
Castle of Magic Free ★★★★ very good platformer with cute graphics, controlled by a touch pad that works well. Stops iPod music, tut tut.
AppSniper ★★★ has many functions and lists designed to highlight apps at a reduced price - I've entered 'National Rail Enquiries' at £2.99 so I should be alerted when they halve the price, as they should. AppSniper has a nice graph page showing price movements but this does not always work.
Transmate ★★★ (formerly Mobile Translator) uses Google to translate 35 languages. The results can be magnified, for instance to show somebody, edited, or emailed and the original phrase can be spoken by the computer - sorry, I meant smart phone or iPod.
Abby Crabby ★★★★ is a sideways-scroller in which Abby must catch trash to stop her crustacean brood being crushed - good fun, with just the correct difficulty level.
News UK Lite ★★★ shows four headlines (with links) from up to five British newspaper feeds, including a lot of local papers. Not good-looking but a useful pointer to the full version.
Bejeweled 2 ★★★★ is a great implementation of the match-3 type game, published by PopCap who made the original PC/Mac game. Superb graphics and very addictive.
Balloonacy ★★★★ is a tricky game with great graphics. Holding the iPod level (as if playing Labyrinth) the balloon must be guided gently through tunnels without touching the walls, unlocking doors with keys and so on. Tough but rewarding. Similar to Dizzy Bee.
Galcon ★★★ is the game of Risk in real time. Intuitive swipe control.
Dizzy Bee ★★★★ is a tricky game controlling the bee by tilting. The bee has to collect "his fruit friends" while avoiding the baddies. Quite a puzzle, the digital equivalent of the metal ball puzzles from decades ago.
Flight Control ★★★★ direct air traffic with a digit. Avoid crashes. Great aesthetic if you remember BOAC or BEA.
Deep Green ★★★★★ is a classy chess game, developed from an Apple Newton title, this app has all that one could want for a casual chess game. Graphics are superb: the conceit being that there is an underlying chess engine. Swipe the board to see the engine. There is only one game, the current game, playing against the engine, human vs. human, or engine vs. engine at different strengths, but no move list or network play. There is a set-up screen for chess puzzles and a playback mode to pick up the game at an earlier point. The 2D board is clear (and I can tell which piece is which) with no stupid 3D view - great!
Loopy Laboratory ★★★★ by Bas Tossings is an isometric puzzle game that will remind some of you of Sinclair Spectrum titles - this is neater. I was stuck on level 12 - how to get the crate to the other side of the unstable floor section? Aha - change direction while on that floor tile.
GravBall ★★★★ A blob must be guided by tilting to pass around blocks which move and have gravity. The game had a clean white background but has now been "upgraded".
Theseus ★★★★ Excellent zombie/Dalek-type puzzler. Great design and graphics. Lite version available.
Ferrari GT Evolution: Lite Version ★★★★ may be the best racing game for the touch so far. Steering by tilt and acceleration by touch. Quite realistic in that one cannot just put the foot down on the pedal all the time without hitting the beautifully-rendered scenery.
Eliss ★★★★ Unique game, designed for the touch interface. Coloured circles must be joined or separated and dumped into holes and of course it gets faster and busier. Very good!
LocateTV ★★★★ searches the TV schedules for upcoming programmes. Very useful as other apps like tvGuide or RadioTimes cannot do this.
Moto Chaser ★★★ is a motorbike racing game: a little more difficult than other racing games on the iPod but more rewarding in the end.
Balloon-Headed Boy Lite ★★★★ Mario-style platformer with colourful scenery, quite challenging. The boy has to collect gas from "farty flowers" to inflate his head so he can float around levels, but not burst it on spikes: as they say "rubberized madness".
RadioTimes ★★★★ TV and radio listings guide for UK mainland/NI, which can also be set for FreeView, Virgin etc. Intuitive display with a bar that shows how much of a programme has elapsed. Entries have synopses which don't mention the actors, but searches can be launched into Amazon.co.uk, YouTube, Wikipedia or BBC iPlayer. The app is badly missing a schedule search, although favourite programmes can be set, but not favourite actors, directors or writers. No link to any favourites already set up on RadioTimes.co.uk. No "now and next".
Catcha Mouse ★★★★ nice free puzzle game: an excellent advertisement for Catcha Mouse 2. The player must block mice moving to their holes by placing traps. I'm making reasonable progress through the game now I have a strategy. You can listen to you own music during the game which is always a big plus with me.
Retro Lite ★★★ The "lite" is no longer available so I am linking to the full version. This is a very good implementation of Thrust. The only problem is the menu music which cannot be turned off. The music suffers from an amplified driving beat which drowns out what might be some interesting stuff noodling away in the background. In the 1980s I bought a copy of Thrust from Adam's World, a computer games shop in North Finchley. How we all laughed, as it sounds like a porno mag.
Touchshooter - Galactic Gunner ★★★★ Aussie space shooter with frantic action. The player plays the gunner trying to hit targets, encouraged by the pilot.
Mouse House ★★★ is like Loopy Laboratory but with a top-down view. Nicely drawn game. Some shooting and avoiding bee stings involved.
Wooden Labyrinth 3D ★★★★ is like Labyrinth but with - yes - an extra dimension! The metal ball in the wooden maze can be made to jump over low walls. Lite version also available.
Free Smiles ★★★ is the lite version of Smiles: includes two similar match-3 games called Zen and Drop both with lovely animation and graphics.
Marble Blast Mobile ★★★ is a maze game similar to the old Marble Madness title but the controls are at once precise and too sensitive, so it is impossible to play on a moving train. This game does not let me play my music: grr.
TurtleFlip ★★★★ is a tricky puzzle game with anthropomorphized turtles. Simple to play but difficult to solve.
Ignite ★★★★ platform game with a living flame that needs combustible material to survive, so some platforms last longer than others.
Payback ★★★ is a spectacular top-down 3D game of the Grand Theft Auto variety. Lovely graphics but a horrible violent role to play.
Ancient Frog ★★★ is a beautifully-drawn puzzle game that soon gets hard. A frog on a leaf has to catch a fly and the player must move the frog's feet onto water drops to get it closer.
Vector Blaster ★★★★ is the Tempest arcade game, just as frenzied as the original. I had to adjust the input sensitivity which improved the game a lot for me. I wish the graphics were a bit larger!
Christmas Rock'n'Roll ★★★★ is an arcade game in which Rock must be guided through fifteen bigger and bigger mazes to collect musical notes by rotating the maze. Control is by touch or turning. Some strategy is needed as there are one-way routes and hazards a-plenty. Rolling this rock through the colourful Flint Island made me very dizzy at first so this should not be played while driving a bus or operating a nuclear power station. This game was free at Christmas but is now priced at 59p. A trial version Rock'n'Roll Lite ★★★★ remains free while the full game of Rock'n'Roll ★★★★ with 30 levels is also 59p.
Saucelifter ★★★★ Choplifter with saucers instead of choppers - neat retro graphics. Takes a few minutes to master the controls.
BurnBall ★★★ is a good tilt version of Qix in which the ball shades monochrome areas in colour. Black robots bounce unpredictably around the grey and a white robot can follow the player anywhere. BurnBall was recently updated and is now more responsive - I just scored 6429 so ner ner ner yah boo.
Aurora Feint II: Tower Puzzles ★★★ is an absorbing match three puzzle game: balls can be swapped sideways or the area can be turned to restack: all balls must be cleared in a small number of moves. The music can also be used to spook people.
Nano Fighter ★★★★ a great space shooter, although actually set inside the body a la 'Fantastic Voyage'. The game is unusual in having touch - instead of tilt - controls for moving, firing and bombing but this works fairly well.
Strategery ★★★★ neat Risk variant. Quite addictive. Try the Lite version.
Mines in Space ★★★ is the classic mine sweeper games with nice graphics and four other similar games thrown in. Lite version also available.
Frenzic ★★★ is a good simple game with attractive graphics. Frenzic has many rave reviews so you might suppose this is the new Tetris but I don't think it's as good as that. I'm ranked 11208 in the world!
iShoot Lite ★★★ is a good cannon game, reminiscent of Worms but with tanks instead of worms.
Scribattle Lite ★★★ is a shooter with a drawn on paper theme. Good graphics. Stick men fire missiles at attacking invaders by flicking. Some collision detection problems where my missile went through the target.
London Tube ★★★ 59p alternative to Tube Deluxe, with the focus on maps and routes. Might be worth getting at this price. The route-planning is not as good as Tube Deluxe: Finsbury Park to Aldgate should be via the Victoria Line, not the Piccadilly! The description mentions the subway - isn't that in New York? In London, subway is either a pedestrian underpass or a foot-long processed sandwich.
Chess Puzzles ★★★★ is a good free interface to fifty chess puzzles, mostly of the "mate in 3" variety.
Box Drop ★★★ inventive game removing boxes from underneath a fragile box in order to have it land reasonably slowly on a platform.
Last.fm ★★★ is a free music "radio" player that will stream music to your iPhone based on your collection or recommendations. You can tag tracks and see similar artists. To get the best out of the player a last.fm account is useful so that they have some idea of your tastes. For instance, Last.fm just played me a track by the 1970s band Nektar and also informed me they are touring, with a list of dates.
Hydro Tilt ★★★ is a good marble maze puzzle game with a water drop instead of a metal ball. The water has to be changed into different states to solve some of the levels. Very well done!
Convertbot ★★★ is a utility to convert between units. The rotary dial interface is a feature but it works pretty well.
Jungle Bloxx Free ★★★ monkeys again, this time removing blocks to deposit a jewel balanced on top without dropping it. Like Box Drop but with different graphics.
Gaia ★★★ is yet another match-three/collapse game but with a twist - twisting the iPod causes pieces to fall into any spaces which can aggregate matches if used strategically. Nicely-drawn garden-themed pieces. Curiously addictive. The game plays random music as blocks are finished. There are also toxic hazards, but as there are no instructions in the game I had to go to the Quicksand site to find out about these.
Sneezies ★★★ should not be as addictive as it is because there is a large element of chance in how many moving bubbles you can pop with a single touch, and a chain reaction can be blocked by one bubble moving the wrong way. I struggled with the instructions and the storyline which made it seem like there was more to this game -- but there isn't. Frustrating fun.
Harbour Master ★★★ like Air Traffic Control but with boats, not planes. Each boat also has to be steered out of port so that another can take its place in a dock, also each cargo must go in the right dock. Mooring, not boring. I should have been on telly, you know. Anywhere but here.
Matches ★★★ is a cleanly-designed version of the classic memory game plus a time limit. The cards can contain letters, numbers or symbols.
Choppy Free ★★★ is a good 2D shooter game with a tiny pink blob in a retro landscape. A polished program.
Alien Abuse ★★★ Playing a platform game on the iPod, without cursor keys or joystick, is tricky but this spaceship-themed title does a good job. Also some shooting!
Alien Invasion ★★★ is a good if frenetic little game in which alien craft must be destroyed, but not those carrying human hostages.
Let's Golf! ★★★★ is a big Golf game - I don't like golf but I bought this. Considering the fact this runs on a phone, it's better than most desktop computer-based golf games. Fantasy holes (oo-er) and holes from real courses seem to be included. The 3D graphics are superb. The control methods are easy to pick up from the tutorial.
Sentinel: Mars Defence ★★★★ is another tower defence game with soldiers and insects, rather like 'Starship Troopers'. I've put this halfway down the list because I rarely touch it, as it's all too easy to play it for hours.
Jelly Car ★★★ needs patience to complete some tricky courses with a squishy car drawn on graph paper, after visiting the system settings to turn the annoying music off.
Iron Sight ★★★ 3D first-person Worms shooter with well-rendered, but dark, graphics. The brightness is not adjustable. No tilt option for movement.
Go (wéiqí) ★★★ Good but slow Go game with 9, 13, or 19 board sizes; 0, 1 or 2 human players; Komi and handicap settings; with option to mark dead tiles after the games.
ChocChocPop ★★★ is a beautiful match-3 game with interesting power-ups. Maybe a bit too easy because games can last a long time, unlike real chocolate.
Spin - Super Shape Puzzle ★★★ is a fast game where objects have to be spun in all directions to match a silhouette. Great graphics.
Ivory Tiles ★★★ puzzle game: tilt wooden trays to move smooth tiles into position in the least number of moves.
Steppin ★★★ is a game that demands another go to try and complete each round quicker than before! With one or two fingers, one has to step across lily ponds, ice, lava, play hopscotch or climb a wall, these levels being progressively harder.
Meteor ★★★ is a good Arkanoid clone with terrible music that can be turned down.
Dropship ★★★ is a space shooter like Thrust crossed with Chopper on Tempest. Pretty good game I'm sure, if I could only master the controls. At the moment I keep flying off into space or colliding with the landscape.
Neverputt ME ★★★ is a good crazy golf simulation with several courses.
Ponder ★★★ displays a quote of the day, designed to stimulate thought. All the quotations are penned by Nikita Logachev who is the author of the app.
Hangman ★★★ is a good implementation of the game, with a choice of word lists.
Aurora Feint The Beginning ★★★ is a Bejewelled (match three gems)/Collapse-type game with a lot of graphics, music and power-ups. Quite enjoyable. This is an MMO, whatever that is, probably referring to all the wizardly stuff between levels.
Artisan ★★★ draws patterns like a screensaver. Speed, number and colour of lines can be set on the fly as can transparency, brush width and colour cycle speed. Snapshot function included.
Kyodai ★★★ is a tile matching game where the player is restricted to pairs of tiles that have an empty path with no more than two turns between them. Very colourful with play similar to Mahjong.
Aerolite ★★★★ is the Asteroids arcade game in colour. Good smooth graphics.
Sky Burger ★★★ well-implemented stacking game. Mmm, big wobbly burgers.
Raging Thunder ★★★ is a good aggressive car racing game with excellent 3D and lens-flare effects. Optional network play.
F.A.S.T. - Fleet Air Superiority Training ★★★ Easily controllable aerial combat game with dogfights, missiles and flying into the ground if you are me. There is an altimeter but the artificial horizon is a graphic of the jet.
Radio Flare Lite ★★★ fiddly 2D shooter arcade game with targets to be selected and destroyed. Interesting soundtrack.
iCombat ★★★ decent table-top tank battle with power ups. A sneaky player will bounce shots of walls - beware!
Scoops ★★★ is a simple game, catching scoops of ice cream in a cone but avoiding the vegetables. Points are given for height and colour matching. The stack of scoops gets higher and more wobbly - good fun!
Sushipedia ★★★ nice articles on different types of sushi with photos from Flickr. Search takes some getting used to.
SeaSick Free ★★★ yes, just look at this app when on-board a boat - no actually this is a colour-matching game with bubbles controlled by tilting. Not bad.
Monster Pinball ★★★ Excellent pinball game with many linked tables and a high-frame rate but it's too fast and the flippers are just too far apart - I hate tables like that!! In the 1970's i would go and park my pint on a different table.
iChess ★★★ chess game with some clear 2D layouts and and 3D board where all the pieces look the same. Good options with game time settings. iChess is probably not as strong as more expensive chess titles - waiting to see play-offs.
Pudge ★★★ Scramble game with fish. Cool menu screens and a split-screen two player mode.
Touch4: FS5 ★★★ is a good connect four game with a pleasing replica of the 1974 plastic grid.
Hexile ★★★ Number puzzle game removing consecutive numbers. Most puzzling. Try the lite version first.
Defender Chronicles ★★★ OK tower defence game with tiny graphics in British medieval setting. Voiceovers by an American trying to sound like Sean Connery. Lots of enemies running around and really difficult to work out a strategy.
Greed Free ★★★ is an interesting strategy game collecting scrabble points with counters.
Bounce On Lite ★★★ is a platform game with a ball that can bounce and become magnetic.
iFliprLite ★★★ downloads and displays sets of flash cards for memorizing, say, world flags or the ancient Greek alphabet. Not bad, but the alphabet in question is rendered in a tiny font and the other sets are US-centric. Still, anyone can make new sets and these are early days.
80s Galaxy Lite ★★★ is a simple vector-style space shooter with enemy ships that must be zapped by touch and bombs that must be swiped to divert them before collision. This lite version has a single level.
Fastlane Street Racing ★★★ car racing game around different circuits. Lots of shadow from the scenery makes this hard at times and I seem to be scraping along the kerb more than in other such games. Try the Lite version.
Zombieville USA Lite ★★★ Frenzied zombie shoot. If the iPod didn't have tough glass I would smash it playing this. It's a bit too quick, making timing crucial.
Space Monkey ★★★ has a good introduction to explain its premise. The game is not bad too, if repetitive. New elements keep on getting introduced until one wonders if training mode goes on forever. Mechanical at first, but collecting space junk and keeping balls in the air without losing yo-yos gets trickier.
Bloons ★★★ dart-throwing arcade game with power-ups, balloons and Breakout bricks. I'm stuck on level 11. Novel twist on some old themes.
Trism ★★★ is a "casual" game, it says here, pick it up and put it down. Well, it's good enough for that. Wish I could work out some tactics for this match-three, six-way sliding block game. Don't forget, star trisms can only be used five times. Hmm.
Slingshot Lite ★★★ OK cannon game in which shots must describe parabola around intervening planets. Nicely done. Link is to the full version as the Lite version has gone.
Abigale ★★ difficult 2D shooter with a fantasy theme. Nothing to do with the Kenco advert starring Harry H. Corbett.
Teeter Blox Lite ★★★ is yet another game about removing blocks. Quite good but takes too long to reset after each attempt.
Dr. Arugula's Box of Death ★★★ interesting 3D shooter with dramatic music. The doctor moves around rooms attacking zombies with square heads. I would give this ★★★★ if the controls were better.
StarSmasher ★★★ is a promising arcade game. Bit hard to draw a bead on enemy ships in an asteroid storm, though.
Circulate Prologue ★★★ is a match-three game in a steel drum where the balls can be spun around to fall in a different order. I'm getting to like this. This "prologue" is a preview of Circulate which was promised five months ago.
Aqua Hoops ★★★ reminds me of an old fairground bagatelle game - simple but tricky to get high scores. Daily and weekly high scores are available within the game.
Monospace ★★★ 3D puzzle game with great design that gets difficult very quickly. I'm stuck on level 11 of 64.
3D RollerCoaster Rush Free ★★★ Amusing game accelerating and braking cars with great graphics. Not much skill involved apart from getting the speed right to beat the ghost coach. The cars seem to fly around corners to get back onto the track: as Alan Partridge might say they are quite literally on rails.
Reflexion Lite ★★★ is a tough Breakout game with a twist - the player must redraw the paddle instead of moving it. This does not make it easier.
Asphalt 4: Elite Racing ★★ There is not much of the elite about this car racing game - the girl Sandra is unlocked in level 1 which may limit the appeal to lEEt teens - except the scenery which is animated well. The game is unique among racers for its portrait mode. Unhappily there is no tilt option for steering - it's only by touch.
One-Dot Enemies ★★ is hard to play without good eyesight. Single pixels must be pressed to destroy them. I found I was often trying to kill a mote of dust on the screen!
Twinkle ★★★ is yet another Twitter app. I prefer Twitterrific which can show more tweets on the screen. The Twinkle GUI is not great: it took me a long time to find the Twitter set-up screen. Also in their new version the message screen no longer has a black background - we get annoying yellow speech bubbles with big gaps between them instead. The plus points of Twinkle are speed and an ability to show messages by proximity which could be more fun than it sounds...
WhatTheFont ★★★★ will try to identify a font from a picture of a word on the phone. It is straightforward to confirm which character is which and then the app will present a list of possible answers: the same word being rendered in each font. WhatTheFont failed to identify the font used in the github logo when I tried it.
HyperCannon ★★ is a potentially good shooty spoilt by fiddly controls. My rank is space dust.
Black Mamba Racer ★★★ is a tricky go-kart racing game with an overhead view of the skidding karts. Playable against drone cars, other iPhone users with good wi-fi or - gasp - Black Mamba herself.
CyberChess ★★★ plays a strong game itself - this is called 'training', or it can be used to play online players via freechess.org or chessclub.com. Nice 2D board option.
Virtual Pool ★★★ has a good atmosphere created by the sound and inuitive, realistic gameplay. I managed some tricky slices through dead reckoning alone. This is not pool as we know it in Britain: in this game all of the balls are pottable.
X-Plane 9 ★★★ is a big sophisticated flight simulator that has not needed to reduce its £5.99 price since launch. Needs some time to become accustomed to flying different planes - and is it flaps up or down on take-off? I soon found out.
RjDj Album ★★★ records the world around the phone and plays it back with some pitch changes and rhythm. Great with headphones. Disconcerting when washing the dishes, otherwise ambient. Now free and has some useful effects for music-makers.
Vegas Pool Sharks Lite ★★★ is a short version of pool in which the player has five chances to pot three balls before the computer. There is no concept of spots and solids - just pot any ball. Good controls and viewing options make this fun to play.
Primrose ★★★ is a promising game with neat graphics, like Lights Out crossed with Go. I might give this more points if I manage to get the hang of it.
Ocarina ★★★ turns the iPhone into a musical instrument. Blowing in the microphone and touching the "fingerholes" plays music which can be recorded, or you can listen to other players' recordings on a well-animated screen. I'm not very good at this and I'm also worried the mic will go rusty.
ColorTilt ★★★ is rather like a colour Etch-a-Sketch with erase and opacity and brush width control, good for doodling or people who can draw. Examples: gallery. If tilting to change colour is not an option, they have a similar app called ColorTouch.
BookSearch ★★★★ is handy in bookshops in order to research prices on online book retailers.
Traffic Jam 2 - Parking Puzzle ★★★ car park game with graphics that are too small. The graphics could be battleships rather than cars and it would make no difference. The game's own music is not very good and it won't play my music - tut tut!
Zombietown: Paint It Red ★★ is yet another Zombie shooter with different weapons and zombies that fire back - frenzied, difficult, not for me.
Oort Storm Free ★★★ asteroids variant. Nice tilt control - good for movement, but the ship does spin on its axis too easily, like a fast whirly thing.
Crossbones ★★★ is a matching game I am getting to like. The tiles have different elements, colours and counts which should match or be all different. An interesting mental exercise.
SpaceOut ★★ is a break-out game with the base replaced by a paddle - it's OK but I miss shooting missiles - strange to say. Nice graphics and 80s-style 8-bit audio.
Battle Field - free ★★ is a strange tower defence game with tiny graphics. Towers are upgraded by switching to a separate panel in which medals have to be dragged into boxes: the game pauses while this is done.
Cowabunga ★★★ is a simple game in which cartoon cows have to be bounced across a river.
Knights Onrush ★★★ Attacking knights have to be flicked up into the air onto hooks, down holes, or on top of each other which is effective when the attackers are carrying explosive. I could probably do better at this game by flicking faster but that is not fun: bad memories of Daley Thompson's Decathlon.
iDracula ★★ glorified Dalek-type game with gorgeous graphics and nasty monsters. The gameplay is not so good.
Spinner Prologue ★★ is a maze game in which the central arrow must be guided around by holding the iPod vertically and twisting it so that the maze appears stationary while the iPod is moved to catch the slowly falling arrow. Some very narrow gaps make this frustrating.
MiniPiano ★★★ is an octave of pianoforte keys. There are no pedals or "things what hold the candles" but given these limitations, it's perfect. (There are many similar apps on iTunes.)
Red Sky ★★ is like Missile Command. It looks lovely but is a bit dull on the early levels.
Koi Pond ★★★ is a supremely pointless simulation of Koi carp in a pond. Of course, many of the best things in this life are pointless. A great demonstration of the iPhone graphics and sound. Shake the phone to feed the fish!
Clusterball Arcade ★★ Flying game set on a sea with rocky outcrops; nicely animated. Virtual roadways in the sky must be followed to pick up points but the turning speed and elevation rate is too slow to get near them half the time. One setting is ghost ship on/off - what's that?
Pop Lite ★★★ bubble-popping game with nice graphics, power-ups and scoring combinations - great for children.
Das Boot ★★★ is a nice depth charge game with great graphics, particularly on the info screens, let down by unresponsive controls. An oddity is that without sonar the subs are supposed to be invisible, but they are faintly visible.
Skylab ★★★ tricky puzzle in which a rotor must be moved around courses, timing its rotation to go around corners and so on.
Ninja Lite ★★ is a frustrating game in which discs have to be launched at ninjas flying on kites, but there is a random element of rocks that block the discs and make it too random to matter.
Chess with Friends ★★★ allows games with remote players. It is possible to challenge people in your address book or get a random opponent on the net. Pretty good. One drawback is that in two player mode the screen does not invert for black moves, so one of you will have to look at upside down pieces.
Krypton Egg ★★ styles itself as the ultimate breakout game, but it's not as good as others on the store - see above. Nice tilt control but tiny balls! It can take ages to get the last brick on each level. 60 levels and lots of power-ups - try the lite version.
Rick Rocketson Lite ★★★ platform game, like an old Commodore or Spectrum 1980s game. Not bad, but tricky without a joystick. The onscreen joypad is not quite up to the job.
Cube ★★ has impressive Quake-like graphics. At this stage in development it is possible to wander around and shoot at the walls and pick stuff up. Others have reported finding monsters to shoot at. I keep launching incomprehensible rendering options unintentionally.
Dragon Force Light ★★★ is a demo of Dragon Force, a space shooter game. "STG game" they call it - I wonder what that means. This is the first level of the main game, not really a good game in its own right because there are so many power-ups available that at the end one is pretty invincible. 'Game Over' comes all too soon.
Shozu ★★★ is a useful app to post text and photos to social websites. I've set-up Flickr, Facebook, email, Blogger and Twitter on mine, and it knows many others. However, I have not used it yet!
Blue Skies ★★★ is a shoot-em-up arcade game, as we used to say in the 80s. A top-down view of a helicopter which must be flown around a smoothly scrolling landscape while shooting blimps and bombing tanks and so on. Recently updated to reduce memory requirements, this game is still 49.8 MB.
Boost ★★ There's not much to this game - tilt to avoid rocks and collect fuel and boost to go faster, but the grey graphics are good. I'm marking it down to ★★ because each game is very short and it is not clear whether it is better to boost. Room for improvement. See me after class.
SpinGuru ** simple but fiddly arcade game. Gorgeous menus. (Deleted.)
Crazy Tanks ★★★ neat table-top tank shooting game with power-ups and shields. Good graphics, but the tank moves too fast to be controllable.
Vanguard Storm Lite ★★ Strategy game that seems to be about moving pieces that emit rays to destroy enemy pieces moving in the opposite direction. There is a time limit and, annoyingly, no guide to how much the strength of enemy pieces is reduced by the ray until the end of a turn.
24 Special Ops Free ★★ clunky isometric running, jumping and killing game. Very testosterone-driven. Maybe if I had seen the TV series I might understand this.
rRootage ★★ is a space shooter which seems to lack shooting. An incredible number of bombs rain down from each boss and shields can be turned on briefly, but the game doesn't last long.
Swirl Lite - 3D Racing ★★ Rotating a concrete tube while collecting stars and avoiding barriers could be fun but this is too fast. You have to hold the phone upright which is the slow position and turn it like a virtual steering wheel, behaviour which could get you thrown out of places. I put the iPhone down and it completed the fifth level all by itself.
Sky Thunder ★★ is a basic 2D shooty space game with confusing graphics mainly due to a colourful background. This game needs more polish and less speed.
The Inferno ★★ C64-era maze game with a nice story and artwork but badly needs tilt (or even joystick) control instead of the onscreen buttons.
Local Picks ★★ by TripAdvisor will list restaurants near your position. Pros: Star ratings, maps, links to reviews. Cons: Prices in dollars, some places have the wrong map reference. The source web site is far from comprehensive. Includes places like Pizza Hut which are popular but I don't consider worthy of a visit.
reMovem free ★★ is an attractive Collapse-type game. Very difficult to clear a screen!
Pac-Man Lite ★★★ has swipe, tilt (accelerometer) or screen (D-Pad) controls. I found swipe to be the only option fast enough to compensate for my crapness at this game. I've never had much luck with パックマン since it was introduced in 1980. It's great if you like Pac-man: the familiar sound effects are there. This is the simple classic game with no updated graphics option.
Domino ★★ is dominoes. Good adaptation without frills. In the end it's only dominoes.
iKoto 2 ★★★ is a Japanese koto instrument, now with pitch-bending and tone scale selection, as well as recording and playback. Forgiving to non-musicians.
I had high hopes of iSprout ★★ but it is too hard! A nature-themed game in which a bee must be guided to flowers of similar colours.
Crazy Penguin Catapult Lite ★★ is a challenge of timing, hitting a penguin at the right moment to send it through a gap otherwise the poor bird ends up sliding down a wall. In the second stage, further avian violence is sent down upon polar bears. If any of the penguins are flaming because they passed though a hoop then they can also melt ice and hit bears on lower levels. I might delete this game: it's frustrating to miss the split-second timing repeatedly, then in the second stage the penguins' descent is random.
Toy Tanks 3D ★ - link is to the full version, but I have the Lite version which is no longer available. This is a tank game where an unstoppable tank races around a beach, while the player tries to take potshots at enemy tanks and ships. It's not possible to avoid enemy fire and I found it dissatisfying.
Kinematix ★★ is a physics puzzle game whose aim is simple: hit the red man with the red ball. However the controls are too complicated: switching to different modes to move objects or the background is silly.
Bone issue 1 ★★ - 'Out of Boneville' is a cartoon, or a comic book story, or a short graphic novel if you prefer (I don't!). Worth a read, but not sure if it's worth 59p, compared to a real comic I can hold and see all at once.
World of Tunes Lite ★★ is one of those beat games like Tap Tap Revenge and there are some moving heads to tap on, but it's so fast the player needs to take amphetamines first.
iMahjong ★★ has well-drawn Mahjong tiles but they are difficult to select.
iChoose ★★ is a handy little app that will simulate flipping a coin, picking a card, throwing dice and so on. I haven't needed to use it yet. Options can be found in the iPod settings.
Uniqlock for iPhone Seasons ★ is a digital clock which also plays music and shows photos and video of attractive young Japanese people dancing while wearing clothes made by Uniqlo, a high street retailer. The music is horrible and uses incomplete loops. The video repeats after five minutes. As a clock it's fine if you have a stand for the iPod, it's not sexy but it is big at 180 MB. There is a sleep button that has no effect. I've deleted this now because I don't need a screen saver on the iPhone.
Tomatoes ★★★★ was a great little app that has disappeared from iTunes. It has stopped working on my iPhone too. It was a neat way to search and read the great film review site Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates critic's ratings. Other apps such as Movies (Flixster), Showtimes, Now Playing and OneTap Movies all use ratings from Rotten Tomatoes.
Tris ★★★ is a good copy of the Tetris game, now replaced by the official version from EA on the iTunes App Store, but still working for those who downloaded it in time.
Dreigit ★★★ was a good version of Asteroid, with configurable controls. Dreigit still works on my iPod, but is no longer on the store:
"Following an email from a lawyer representing Atari, this game is no longer available. A completely reworked title (currently in testing) will take its place soon."
Too many apps, did I say? Yes, the iPod can display 148 icons on its 9 pages and I have 531 apps so far, so I need to be selective about the apps I sync to the iPod. But there are more apps that I want. An outliner like MORE. I'd love to see old games like Defender, Moon Cresta, Scramble or Spy vs. Spy - come on you programmers. How about those classic Commodore games: Encounter!, Dropzone, Thrust, Lunar Lander, Zaxxon, Uridium, Wizball, Delta and Omega Race. Jeff Minter: what about Hellgate, Mutant Camels or a light synth?
Some promising apps I've noted since starting this blog post are: Armado; Toy Bot 2; EPOS Books (formerly iMobilco); ComicZeal; AIM; Tiny Violin; Star Trigon; Spoilage; Chimps Ahoy!; Wurdle; Bubble Bay; Imangi; Marple; Glyph; Meteor; Tetris; De Blob; Lux Touch; Platypus; Armageddon Squadron; Flick Fishing; Need for Speed; SolarQuest; Mobile Disk; Yahtzee Adventures; Cube Runner II; Low Grav Racer; Fairies Fly; Mines in Space; Space Tripper; Killer Pool; Resco Bubbles; Pandora; Stellar Blaster; Nicky Boom; Monopoly Here & Now; Scrabble; Bullfrog Touch; Spawn Illuminati; I Love Katamari; Radioshift Touch; FileMagnet; Tweetie; newtonica2; Internal Force; Paradise: The Beginning; Crayon Physics; Kraut; Wordsworth; Alien Mangle; Scrabble (USA only); Shredder Chess, Fritz Chess; Chess Genius (all three chess games at £5.99); Rebel Onslaught; Edge; Space Ninja; Equilibrio; Dübreq iStylophone; Saving Bug; Gomi; Circuit Strike.One; The Plateau; Android; Metal Angel; Booty Blocks; Slotz Racer; Paper Pilot; iStorage; Zero Chance; Flight Stunts; Let's Golf; Sway; Photogene; Freeballin'; Bookworm; Ferrari GT Evolution; Glyder; Skype; DizzyMission; Worms; Sheep Abduction; Wolfenstein 3D; Pinball Destruction; G; Cops and Robbers; Dig-Dug Remix; Flashback; Rolando 2; AC-130 Spectre; Phaze; Toy Raid; TowerMadness; Kryzer Prologue; Parachute Panic; Galactic Gunner; Stragea; The Deep Pinball; Star Defense; Durak; Ohmz; Rick Dangerous; Doom Resurrection; Deep Pinball; Car Mania; Cataica; Last Cannon; Mini Golf Wacky Worlds; iLandCars (3GS); Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor; Ultimate Othello; SimpleNote...
Deleted: Fuzzle - pretty but too random. Newtonica Player - ugh, beats. Shardsette - could not get into this. Space Invasion - Well-drawn invaders but the base moves too quickly. Invazion Lite - round invaders? and only one base. Radius - pretty global whack-a-mole. Steppin' Lite - I've seen more interesting tests of dexterity. BugHunt - looks like a good version of Galaxian but the ship fires sporadically and is tilt-controlled which is too slow. Cannon Challenge - good but soon gets tedious: imagine 'Worms' with no opponents or movement. iSlots - free one-armed bandit with no hold. Flexis Lite - promising Tetris variant but too random to be meaningful. Pisces - match four with nicely-drawn fish. Kabooma Lite - simple pipeline game. Beetle Lines - Match 5 by moving beetles. Spinball - too difficult 3D pong. Defcon 1 - Missile Command variant with nice graphics, but not as good as Atari's and I don't want to hear people screaming as cities are destroyed and the number of lost souls is shown. Dreams Lite - difference game with tiny dark pictures. Todesstrahl - simple arcade shooter. Mini Golf 99 Holes Theme Park - too slow.
(Unfinished post: I'll be adding pix, apps and revising. Please let me know of any classics I've missed! It's hard to keep up with new releases now that Apple have removed the "Latest" links from iTunes. I'm not including prices because they go up and down more often than my trousers. Note that some apps have significant upgrades since I reviewed them.)
I have not reviewed built-in apps such as Calendar, Maps, Camera, Photos, Phone, Safari, iPod (or Videos and Music on an iPod touch), Mail, Clock, iTunes, Text, Notes, Stocks, Contacts, YouTube, App Store, Calculator and Settings.
I will list the best web-based apps and sources of iPhone app news and reviews. Regular Kevin Turvey, me. Currently playing in iTunes: Stoned Train Driver by The Bevis Frond.